Welcome, Lee. (serves up Limoncello and almond bread)
1. What does “Italy” say to you?
Classical music, opera, Luciano Pavarotti, the Vatican City, architecture, gelato, Venice, Amalifi Coast and the Italian Riviera. I could go on and on.
2. Why the Amalfi Coast as a setting for this story?
I visited Italy, including Venice, the Amalfi Coast and the Italian Riviera five years ago. It really is a magnificient part of the world. My hero is a naval architect who builds super yachts and my heroine is a violinist. The Amalfi Coast was the perfect setting in which to bring all the elements of the story together. It's the perfect setting for almost anything. Seriously!
3. What is the appeal of a millionaire male?
For some people maybe the fantasy, the escapism in reading a novel that transports them into another world. For me, I don’t write multi-millionaires who have inherited their wealth. My heroes are all self-made men. They’ve achieved their wealth through hard work, discipline, and in Dean Logan’s case, because of his innovative yacht designs. It’s those qualities I find appealing. I'm with you, Lee!
4. What are two of the most interesting finds from your research for this book?
The first would be how common intellectual property theft is and how vulnerable businesses really are. It’s frightening how many people have their files encrypted and are then subject to blackmail by anonymous internet hackers, without it becoming public. Many make the decision to pay up so they can retrieve their files.
Something else I found interesting was despite all the on-board sophistication such as radar, sonar, electronic charts etc, and the ability of these super/mega yachts to sail themselves, there still needs to be someone manning the bridge at all times keeping a look-out for objects submerged below the surface. I assumed my ‘nautical adviser’ was speaking of logs but apparently one of the most common things are shipping containers that have fallen off freighters for some reason or another, usually during rough seas. Gives a new meaning to 'it fell off the back of a truck'!
5. What music inspired Marina’s violinist character?
It wasn’t actually the music which inspired me. I learned alto saxophone at the Newcastle Conservatorium for fourteen years and always wanted to write a female heroine who is a classical musician. Unfortunately, a wind instrument doesn’t show the heroine in the most flattering light, (picture brows knitted together, cheeks puffed and lips pulled into an unattractive embrasure). So I decided to make my heroine a violinist.
6. Quick round: Favourite Italian ...
a. Drink - Campari
b. Food – Pana cotta
c. Book – Beach Music by Pat Conroy. (It’s only partly set in Italy but as it’s one of my favourite books of all time, I had to nominate it).
d. Singer/song – Pavarotti’s Nessun Dorma
e. City - Rome
f. Experience – Taking the local bus from Portofino to Santa Margherita and then walking back along the coastline into Portofino. Such breathtaking scenery, I had to put Santa Margherita and Portofino in the book. (See attached photos.)
g. Movie – Angels and Demons.
7. When you return to Italy, where would you like to go next/again? Lake Como, the Dolomite Mountains, and back to the Amalfi Coast and the Italian Riviera of course! *hand high in the air and waving madly* Need someone to carry your bags, bring your drink, keep you company?
Desperate to recover his latest super yacht designs, Dean doesn’t want to believe the lovely violinist is involved in the devastating cyber-attack that threatens to destroy his yacht building empire. However his growing feelings for Marina fail to extinguish the nagging suspicion that she is hiding something.
Set against the backdrop of Italy’s Amalfi Coast, Dean and Marina must navigate the dangerous waters of secrecy, attraction, and the fusion of two very different worlds. Will their lives remain discordant, or will they take the chance at true harmony?
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